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Biden’s policy agenda benefits older adults far less than Sanders’

Written by Diane Archer

Mark Weisbrodt writes for MarketWatch about the divide between Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders on Social Security and Medicare. Sanders commands more support from younger voters than Biden by a margin of 47 percent to 13 percent. Curiously, older adults lean Biden over Sanders by a margin of 25 percent to 11%, even though Sanders’ Social Security and Medicare reform proposals are far more beneficial to older adults than Biden’s.

Today, 27 million Americans live above the poverty line because of Social Security. Sanders has advocated to strengthen Social Security since he became a Senator in 1991. Biden has argued for cuts to Social Security since 1984 and as recently as 2013. Biden supported the chained CPI, which would have reduced Social Security benefits.

Only now, with a large cohort of Democrats behind raising Social Security benefits, does Biden support increasing Social Security benefits. But, Biden has historically failed to accept that Social Security can be strengthened easily. Sanders, in sharp contrast, has argued that Social Security can close a longterm and relatively small funding gap.

Older adults also may not realize how much Medicare for All would help them, expanding their benefits and lowering their out-of-pocket costs. Sanders’ Medicare for All bill would be a huge improvement over Medicare today, covering 100 percent of the cost of dental, hearing and vision care as well as long-term services and supports. The typical person with Medicare pays nearly $6,000 a year out-of-pocket for health care, almost 25 percent of average income. With Medicare for All, older adults and people with disabilities would have that money to spend on other things.

Vice President Biden does not plan on improving Medicare benefits at all. His health care plan focuses almost exclusively on helping people who get coverage through the state health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). And, his health reform agenda does little to ensure people can afford the deductibles and coinsurance imposed by ACA plans, let alone to rein in costs.

Here’s more from Just Care:



  • I’m older and have always despised Biden for his rotten record as an excessive far right politician voting in favor of Wall Street but against the people’s interest and he’s a habitual liar.

  • I wouldn’t vote for Joe Biden if he was my husband, son, or brother He is unstable and suffers from advanced senile dementia. He actually picked a fight with a worker at an automobile plant where he was visiting. Joe Biden is NOT for the people and is incompetent to serve as President. The very fact that he will get rid of Medicare should be enough to not elect him as our president. Wake up people and, as the Nuns used to say, “put your thinking cap on”.

  • Who knows what will come out of Sundays debate. But what is clear is money (business and the wealthy ) are threatened and are undermining Bernie’s ideas. And since every other first world country manages to figure out healthcare for all, this undermining is about companies not wanting to pay more tax. We never have debates about the over and over rising military budgets, why is that? If Biden is the nominee, he must be pinned to the wall with his commitment to Medicare for All because it’s the cheapest and best. Israel has an interesting model, national plan everyone is on and a few private physicians. What do you think the amount of money will be brought in if we just taxed Amazon??
    Wake up America, don’t vote against yourself, please.

  • …I don’t understand this either (particularly those of my generation who support Mr. Trump.

    I am a senior and voting for Mr. Sanders in our state’s primary. as his ideas just make plain sense. Crikey if I decided to go back to work and needed to go to school to learn a new occupation, I’d have an incentive to do so as I wouldn’t have to take on a mountain of debt to fund it.

    As to Medicare for all, yes, not having to deal with out of pocket expenses is a good thing. States (which administer Medicaid funds) can only do so much as their budgets are often strained to the limit. Also there are income caps which once you reach them, all those extra expenses (including the annual premium) come out of your pocket again. I barely get 1,000$ a month, my rent (in what is classified as federal low income housing) is now 53% of my monthly income. The Medicare premium alone would take a major portion out of what is left to pay bills, buy food, and other necessities with.

    I also look at the other things Mr. Sanders supports, like family leave, better public education, reversing the damage the Trump Regime is doing to the environment, and giving the younger generations the same benefits and ability for improving their lot as we had when we were young.

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